Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB Reclocker review

Honey I REALLY need a Recovery soon

Review of the Recovery USB Reclocker from American based Wyred 4 Sound...

When you look up the synonym for the English word “recovery” you get the result: advance, betterment, improvement, the return of something that has been lost. Now that´s interesting.

Wyred 4 Sounds USB Recovery Reclocker or simply “RUR" as it´s sometimes called on the internet, is a really small thing, it comes at 2.6" x 1.7" x 0.9" (L x W x H and that´s approx. 6,6. x 4,3 x 2,2 centimeters) and can easily fit in the palm of a hand. But as nice as it looks, it´s unfortunately meant to be placed out of sight and in most situations behind your beloved audio gear. The unit is meant to be connected in between you computers USB socket (Mac or PC) and your DAC. The meaning of it is that it is doing some house keeping of your precious digital signals, also known as zeroes and ones. It will do this by adding a more stable clocked source to the signal, as well as clean up and isolate the power for the USB data stream. It also comes with a small switchmode 9V/1.3A PSU the same size as the RUR.

But hey my USB line and my computers power supply already are totally clean I hear you say. Even if you have not connected any thing that could disturb you precious music files, such as a printer or another harddisc or a NAS or whatever, there still are some VERY good chances that there is a lot of noisy stuff going on inside your music machine aka PC/Mac. As I usually only turn on the apps associated with music on my computer when listening active and critically, I still count more then 20 (!) listed items when I look in my Activity Monitor in my Mac while listening. Twenty!. So yes there is much going on under the hood, together with the very noisy environment inside every computer, with switch mode PSU´s and clocks and stuff this is definitely NOT healthy for a clean sound signal. And maybe that´s what the analog-kind-of-guys speak about when they tell us digital-connoisseurs about the hard and unpleasant sound that they hear in many of todays streaming HiFi systems. 

Californian based company Wyred 4 Sound comes with a solution to a problem that we did not knew we had! Ta da and the sound FX of a drum roll: here comes the W4S Recovery USB Reclocker! This little gem is supposed to clean up both the power and the digital signals. There are similar products on the marked, we have had great success with UpTone Audios REGEN, and it´s still doing a great job in my listening room working overtime 10-12 hours a day. And when I have the (strange) urge to take the REGEN out of the reproduction chain, I immediately feel a strong need to put it back where it belongs, and that´s connected right after my Curious Cable coming out of my iMac´s USB socket.
So now the W4S´s RUR has been paid for and we are done with customs and freight stuff, it arrived safely at my humble mansion - and maybe it should take over the place of the REGEN? Let´s see how that goes, or better let´s hear how that goes. 

Or do they both augment each other and are best joining forces together? I remember many, many years ago, there was the German national soccer team having two world class players G√ľnter Netzer and Wolfgang Overath. They both where great on the mid field, and the odds if the German coach would use either Netzer or Overath where 50/50. Big was the surprise when BOTH of the guys where playing from the referee whistled the game started. So maybe it´s quite good adding the RUR and the REGEN together? I´ll tell you later on, so hang on.

“Jarabi” from the album Songhai performed by Ketama is a hell (sorry…) of a dynamic piece of acoustical explosive music with close-miked drums and hand claps and all the stuff that a bad sounding HiFi system does not like in the first pace. The gypsy guitar group is doing it´s magic joining forces with Toumani Diabate on kora and also on the vivid bass played by the English gentleman Danny Thompson. On many HiFi systems, even one of a much more serious price tag, the sound often is either to aggressive or to just to boring. The RUR does a great job by playing the different acoustic instruments as a whole while at the same time they are easy to separate. Easy for any HiFi system. Try it out my friends, try it.

“All You Gotta Do Is Touch Me” by the fab Jonathan Brook really shines when I use the W4S Recovery. The great Keb Mo gives this song his additional vocals, while Steve Gadd does his sublim drumming job. And with the RUR it´s easy to discern the two voices, and the sound is soft as a summer breeze. No hard edginess anymore. Digitalis hardness is gone.

Danish world class bass player Bo Stief´s band Dream Machine plays this song called “Heart” with guitar player Poul Halberg doing some very sensitive slide guitar playing on his 6 string. This song is a good track for auditioning HiFi qualities of any kind of equipment if you ask me. There are this lovely minut percussion things, a roaming bass, on top the whining guitar shining on, sliding from one note to the other. This song is 03:40 minutes, I´d wish it would last a lifetime. The Recovery recovers and renders every bit of the bits so bit-perfect (sorry, I couldn´t help it) so it´s a joyride from the very, very first note.

So if you need an instant recovery, look no further. This little thing is so good, as it removes most of the digital artifacts that are audible in the digital USB HiFi chain. It not only removes some grain, it actually adds some analogue feeling! And as it at the same time adds (if you can add something that is not there in the first place…) some nice depth and space to the music, it´s a small box of wonder, that you really just have to have. Not only nice to have, but need to have. The price is low and the result is high, so please take a listen to the smallish black Recovery box. Your hifi system as well as your ears will thank you. This won´t get any better then this. Worldclass. Deux point.

More sparkle and more air. More depth and smooth sonics. More openness and more analogue sound. More umph and more relaxation, a more sexy sound (if a sound can be sexy - in my opinion it can!) and more toe movements.

Now that all sounds quite simple doesn’t it? Maybe it isn´t, I dont know. I am not an electrical digital engineer, I am just a humble sound engineer for 35+ years at (amongst others) the National TV, and a HiFi critic for 25+ years. So I am not knowing what these electrical zeroes and ones actually do inside this small unit, what I know is that this Recovery does a hell of a job to my good ol´ ears.

Compared to the Regen made by UpTone the sound is softer. The Regen is more sharp in the transients, meaning the background vocals on Joe Cockers version of Cohens “First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin” are a touch more dominant. With the W4S Recovery the sound is more relaxed, and not as upfront as with the Regen. The depth is deeper and small sounds are waving more in front of your speakers and the piano is panned more to the right, meaning that the sound stage is clearly wider on this track. The live drumming cymbals are more vivid and you want to play louder with the RUR, probably because of the lack of distortion.

Moving on to Sara K.´s “Turned My Upside Down” (featuring Chris Jones and streamed from her live album Horse I Used To Ride Live In 2001 from the always good sounding label Stockfish Records). The intimacy is stunning, it´s really as if you are at the venue in center front row stage.

And even better it get´s with Christy Baron´s “Gentle Journey” (24/96 Chesky Records), that analogue sound is near perfect when playing through the small Recovery unit. And while Roon just chose one track after the other with similar genres, (Tony Bennet, Cassandra Wilson, Keb´ Mo´, Madeleine Peyroux, Regina Carter, Charlie Bird, Tierney Sutton, Herbie Hancock, just you to give you the idea of it) I´d enjoy every second of it).

Also “Bring Him Home” performed by Alfie Boe, James Morgan and The Danish National Chamber Orchestra reveals small differences. With the W4S Recovery I forget to analyze the sound, instead I enjoy the music. And that´s the way it should be if you ask me.

Putting the REGEN and the Recovery inline (connecting them one on the other) did not do any good to the sound. I´d save the bucks for some good music, and only buy one of these great units. One of them I´d definitely buy if I where you - living without them is not possible anymore. Addicted? Moi? You bet!

Price approx.: 199 USD

Text and pics ©Kurt Lassen 2016